The Falcons announced their 21 man undrafted free agent class, and as I mentioned yesterday, there were some legitimately interesting players added to this roster. They’ll be cut in waves in the months ahead, but some will stick around, either as members of the 53 man roster or the team’s 10 man practice squad.
Here’s six names to watch in the weeks ahead.
LB Darius English
He had an extremely productive senior season, with nine sacks and 57 tackles for South Carolina. He has the length and easy athleticism the Falcons love, but he very obviously needs to bulk up and just doesn’t figure to be much of a factor against the run. He’s someone that could make some noise on third downs as a situational pass rusher, however, particularly if he’s able to spend the 2017 season on the practice squad. You’d be hard-pressed to argue there’s a more talented pass rusher in this rookie class outside of Takkarist McKinley.
OT Andreas Knappe
Massive and solid at UConn, the Dane doesn’t have a ton of competition for the swing tackle gig in the here and now. The Falcons will probably be tossing a scrap heap veteran at this roster hole at some point, but guys like Knappe and roster holdover Kevin Graf will legitimately be in the mix. Knappe isn’t the most experienced player, but he has talent and upside even at the age of 26, and might just win that gig.
CB Taylor Reynolds
I really like Reynolds’ game, and I’ve seen him play my alma mater enough times to know he’s an aggressive, playmaking cornerback with good size. There’s absolutely no room for him on this football team in 2017, but I like his long-term outlook and think with a year on the practice squad he could challenge for a spot in 2018. Atlanta’s going to do a lot of shuffling at cornerback over the next few seasons, and Reynolds could be a solid fourth or fifth option for the team.
S Quincy Mauger
A physical safety with solid straight line speed and some positional versatility, Mauger has a solid shot of coming in and making the team as a special teamer and deep reserve safety. Long-term, he could be a useful backup
FB Tyler Renew
Atlanta’s current fullback battle comes down to Soma Vainuku, a physical lead blocker with very little NFL experience, and Derrick Coleman, who played exactly zero snaps in the NFL a year ago. Enter Tyler Renew.
The Citadel product is a tough, #physical fullback who is also surprisingly fast. He was a productive runner in college, as well, and shouldn’t be counted out of the fullback competition. There’s a vacuum with Patrick DiMarco in Buffalo, and Renew might end up being the guy to fill it.
WR Josh Magee
He’s already 25 years old, but Magee has legitimate speed and was pretty productive at South Alabama, putting up over 800 yards and five touchdowns in 2016. Atlanta can always use more speed and playmaking ability at receiver, and it’s possible Magee gets a look in 2017 or 2018 as the last receiver on the roster.
Who are your picks?